Open Strong Anne Frank

Essay in need of a Strong Opening

Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust, was allegedly baptized posthumously Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to whistleblower Helen Radkey, a former member of the church. The ritual was conducted in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic, according to Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher who investigates such incidents, which violate a 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.

Radkey discovered that Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15, was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999. This time, Frank’s name was discovered in a database that can be used for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is open only to Mormons.

A screen shot of the database shows a page for Frank stating “completed” next to categories labeled “Baptism” and “Confirmation,” with the date Feb. 18, 2012, and the name of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.

Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims or Jews who are not direct descendants of Mormons has continued, despite church vows to stop such practices. Negotiations between Mormon and Jewish leaders led to a 1995 agreement for the church to stop the posthumous baptism of all Jews, except in the case of direct ancestors of Mormons, but some Mormons have failed to adhere to the agreement.

The name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was recently submitted to the restricted genealogy website as “ready” for posthumous proxy baptism, though the church says the rite is reserved for the deceased, and Wiesel is alive. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, was among a group of Jewish leaders who campaigned against the practice and prompted the 2010 pact by which the Mormon Church promises to at least prevent proxy baptism requests for Holocaust victims.

Wiesel last week called on Republican presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop who has donated millions to the church, to speak out about the practice. The Romney campaign did not immediately reply.  The Frank case follows closely on an apology from the Mormon Church last week for recent posthumous baptisms of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s parents.

The latest baptism of Frank by proxy is especially egregious because she was an unmarried teenager who left no descendants. Mormon officials have stressed that in accordance with the agreements, church members are supposed to submit only the names of their own ancestors.

“The security of the names submissions process for posthumous rites must be questioned, in view of the rash of prominent Jewish Holocaust names that have recently appeared on Mormon temple rolls,” Radkey said about her latest find. “This one sailed straight through, with Anne’s correct name in their ‘secure’ database.”

Radkey said she expects, once word gets out, that church officials will scrub the records as they did with Wiesel and Weisenthal’s parents. The Mormon Church responded later Tuesday in a statement: “The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism. While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions we are committed to taking action against individual abusers who willfully violate the Church’s policy. Ritual baptism should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect; we regret when it becomes a source of contention.”

Exercise Specifics

In the Reply field below this post, write your strongest Opening Paragraph.

Your paragraph must contain a thesis sentence that clearly and boldly proclaims the claim you promise readers you will prove.

In addition, your Opening Paragraph:

  1. Will make strong, perhaps paradoxical claims.
  2. Will sum up a very strong argument your essay will make.
  3. Will NOT LOSE the argument.
  4. Will itself be an argument.
  5. Will be memorable.
  6. Will be debatable, demonstratable, illustratable.
  7. Will be a good example of itself.

Well, maybe it won’t accomplish all 7 goals, but the more the better!

You have until the end of the period to write your best first draft.

7 Responses to Open Strong Anne Frank

  1. mysterylimbo says:

    It seems quite counterintuitive, that disrespecting religion is only fine when it’s done be Christians. If the roles were reversed and every Christian man was forced to go to bar mitzvah then the headline and tone of the story would be completely different. This is an attack on Judaism and the basic fundamentals of their religion. What the church did in this story is blatantly wrong and disrespectful to not only Judaism but to the dead too.

  2. wazoo1234 says:

    Baptizing jewish people without their consent is a lot like the holocaust.
    these people are not Mormons and to be forcing the deceased into a religious ceremony without any consent is crazy. People should have to give consent to this nonsense. Anne Frank lived and died as a Jew. She was not and should not beqabtized in a christian church.

  3. yourfavoriteanon says:

    The faith of Christianity has always started with baptism, but what happens if someone was never baptized before they passed away? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has started to accept posthumous baptism requests from family members so they can be satisfied knowing they’ll be able to see they’re loved ones in the afterlife. While this sounds nice for requesting families, a big problem of baptizing people without their consent has risen. Now, you can’t ask someone posthumously if they want to be baptized but the church is starting to baptize random people and they don’t even have to be of the same faith. Baptizing Anne Frank, a famous girl who fell victim of the holocaust, or Elie Wiesel, someone who is still alive and have not agreed to these terms due to believing in a different religion is just weird and questionable.

  4. pomegranate4800 says:

    It seems unethical for a person not to have the right as to whether they are baptized or not. Truthfully, it should depend on the person and what they believe. Anne Frank, one of the many well-known Holocaust victims, was one of the unlucky ones. She was baptized in what they call “proxy” into the Mormon church. She, along with many other Jewish people, did not and will not get the say as to whether or not they were baptized in this church or baptized at all. They shouldn’t have to be baptized into a religion they don’t or once didn’t believe.

  5. chavanillo says:

    – Anne Frank was baptized dozens of times, why is that? She actually die in Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15. Jews were baptize and then killed because for them it was a symbol that heavens will open for you. Because of the Jewish leaders and the Mormon’s they are trying t stop the practice on baptizing the Jewish people. This is generally pointed to the holocaust victims. At the end of the day Mormon’s Ritual Baptisms is seen as a offering based on love and respect. When it comes to the source of contention there is a lot of regret. Everything is about the rules of the church when it comes to the accepting of ritual baptisms.

  6. daphneblake25 says:

    It is politically correct to keep the Church separate from the state, but now, it may be morally correct as well. While churches are practicing their religious rights by performing the purification ceremony of Baptism, they’re infringing on jewish people’s human rights when they baptize them without their permission. A mormon temple in the Dominican Republic has baptized many Jewish people, mostly survivors of concentration camps, into their church without their, or their families’ permission. While no laws exists that prohibits this, it is morally and ethically wrong because the church should only baptize those that ask, and not force anyone into their religious practices, protected by the first amendment’s freedom of religion clause. While mormons are attempting to bring people closer to God and Heaven, they may be moving themselves farther from him by going against basic human, ethical principles of life.

  7. jets1313 says:

    Anne Franks, loss of identity with the Jewish religion makes her less of a symbol or significance to the jewish people and community. Anne Frank undoubtedly is a remarkable idle, and her story of survival though the holocaust created in sense a maurder for the Jewish people. But allegedly she was baptized by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not making her jewish at all and er significance to the jewish community is less paramount.

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